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Dogs Behaving Badly: What Not To Do With Your Four-Legged Friends

There's an etiquette code for dogs, whether it's at the dog park or a cafe.

If you spend more time running after the chair that you tied your dog to at the café than sitting down enjoying your frappe, then perhaps it's time to question whether your beloved hound is obeying the social rules.

Here's a simple rule for dogs and cafes: if they can't sit still or can't stop yapping; leave your four-legged buddies at home. Also, if your dog gets up to all kinds of mischief at home, you shouldn't be inflicting her bad behaviour on fellow patrons at the local sandwich bar.

Etiquette expert Anna Musson learnt her lesson the hard way. As the proud owner of two pugs, she realised that her time socialising was ruined as she spent most of her time 'at coffee' placating them as they kept trying to sit on her lap.

"I just don't take them to cafes. So if your dog is a barker or over-active, they shouldn't be at the shops. Don't ever order a meal for your dog. You should never do this. Be mindful of where your dog pees. It is not appropriate to let your dog wee outside a café or a shop. Wait until you find a tree. Also, be very mindful where you tie him up," Musson said.

Remember, not everyone is a dog lover. If you leave your dog outside a shop don't let them sprawl across the entrance. The general rule is if your dog is badly behaved at home, chances are he will be badly behaved outside of the home."

Other doggie don'ts at cafes are the strange practices of ordering food for your dog and also allowing her to sit on a chair at the table. It might be acceptable in some parts of Paris but few people think it's okay to have a dog at the table in Australia.

"Our dogs are not all perfect. Some dogs like to wee inside to mark their territory or will jump up on a person or bark at them. It's important to ask people in a pleasant way whether it is ok to have your dog with you when you are either at someone's house or meeting them somewhere. You should always offer to tie your dog outside and practice being a responsible dog owner," Musson said.

Musson told The Huffington Post Australia a well-walked dog is a more sociable dog.

"A sociable dog gets more exposure to other dogs and they aren't agitated because they've been inside all day. If you know your dog has been locked inside all day and will go crazy if he goes outside, then don't take him to the shops. Also we don't have a way of controlling other people's anxiety about dogs, so we need to be very mindful. Some people are frightened of dogs too."

"If you're going to a friend's home, keep your dog on the lead and assume they should be an outside dog unless told otherwise."

When it comes to dog parks, Musson advises people to stick to the rules which are generally unspoken but, if broken, you'll be severely frowned upon.

Musson's Dog Park etiquette guide

  • Pick up after your dog. Put the dog poo in the dog poo bin, not the general rubbish bin.
  • Don't drop your dog at the dog park and go shopping. It's not doggy daycare.
  • Keep an eye on your dog in case he's harassing other dogs or sitting in the communal water bowl.
  • When you arrive and when you leave – shut the gate behind you.
  • Stay close to your dog. Don't let him run so far ahead of you that, if he does a poo, you miss it.
  • If your dog is not sociable and spends his time at the dog park barking at other dogs, take him somewhere else.
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